You’ve got your climbing shoes. You’ve got your harness. Now you need to pick the best climbing rope.
Your rope is one of the essential pieces of climbing gear. Choosing the wrong one can be detrimental.
Let’s get into the tips you need to know.
Types of Climbing Ropes
Dynamic and static are the two, main types of climbing ropes.
A dynamic rope naturally stretches to absorb your impact if and when you fall. Static ropes, on the other hand, don’t stretch much at all, which can be efficient for ascending ropes or lowering injured climbers.
If you’re top roping or lead climbing, you’ll need a dynamic rope. Of dynamic ropes, there are three choices.
Interested in mountaineering and ice climbing? You’ll want to consider a half rope. With this rope system, you use two ropes.
As you ascend, you clip one rope on your left, and the other on your right. Both ropes run parallel to each other.
They can help reduce drag, and they can technically allow you to move twice as far than you would be able to with a single rope.
They are intended to use as a matching pair. Don’t mix-and-match different brands.
People also use twin ropes for mountaineering and ice climbing. They are less bulky than a half rope system. With twin ropes, you clip both ropes through each piece of protection.
Like half ropes, you need to use a matching pair.
They come in a variety of lengths and diameters. That means they are flexible enough to use for a variety of different climbs.
These are recommended for climbing, top roping, and trad climbing. Most climbers prefer these ropes.
Static ropes work best for caving, hauling loads and supplies, and climbing fixed lines. Again, you do not use static ropes for top roping or lead climbing!
Climbing Rope Diameter
Skinner ropes weigh less. However, they can be less durable. Most climbers use 9.5-9.9 mm single ropes for outdoor trad and climbing.
If you engage in big-wall climbing or frequent top roping, you may want a single rope 100mm and above.
Climbing Rope Length
Dynamic ropes can range anywhere between 30-80 mm. Most climbers use a rope in the 60 mm range.
If you’re climbing outdoors, you need a rope that’s long enough for half its length to be equal or greater than the route you are climbing.
Are you climbing indoors? A 35mm should cover most indoor routes.
The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) evaluates ropes for safety standards. They test ropes to determine how many falls they can take before failing. All single ropes and half ropes must pass a minimum of 5 falls.
That said, you should always inspect your gear before every single climb.
When it comes to selecting your climbing rope, you need to consider the type of climbing you do. You also need to know when to retire climbing rope.
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